It’s a whole new year of dissertating!

2010 ended with a burst of utter unproductivity on my part. Illness, the holidays, and general fatigue with the topic all played a part, and as it turned out I was unable to finish Chapter 3 before the year ended. I think I had dramatically underestimated just how much I had to fit into this chapter, and how much care would be needed in juggling it all! Then 2011 began with an amazing treat, a God Street Wine excursion on Jam Cruise, where I got to play 2 shows, watch dozens of others, and enjoy a weeklong, no-kids vacation with Lisa on a cruise ship surrounded by fans and musicians.

Returning to Princeton in a phase of unwelcome winterish weather, I first got caught up in the job search for American Revolution junior scholars, and then, slowly, returned to the world of Chapter 3 and the trials of Laussat.

I expect to finally finish the chapter tomorrow, although it may take an extra day of polishing before I’m ready to send it off to my advisers and readers. Looking it over I think it’s pretty good, definitely my best chapter yet, and the first one to be based on truly original research (the first two mainly synthesized historiography). It is also long; it will be over 14,000 words I think when finished.

I do have high hopes that Chapter 4 will be easier; one reason is that it will be based, at least in part, on the Omohundro paper I presented last June on The Dreamers. More thoughts on that as I get into it!